Are Compounding Pharmacies Still Necessary?

To determine whether there is a need for compounding pharmacies today, one will have to understand what a compounding pharmacy does.
Share this article

All medications don’t always suit every patient. A compounding pharmacy combines, mixes, or alters medications to tailor fit a patient in situations where, for some reason, a common medication won’t do. Some patients may be allergic to an ingredient in the medication and a compounding pharmacy can alter the medication to eliminate that ingredient. Where a patient, perhaps an elderly person or a small child, may be unable to swallow a pill, a compounding pharmacy can create the medication in liquid form to allow the patient to take the medication more easily. A compounding pharmacist can also add flavoring to a bad-tasting medication, or create a child-size dosage of a medication that’s only manufactured in an adult dosage.They can even make a topical form of a medication, such as a cream or gel, that would allow the medication to be absorbed through the skin. In some cases, where a drug manufacturer may discontinue a drug, a compounding pharmacy may be able to duplicate that medication on a small scale for patients who need to continue taking it.

Article continues after recommendations

Below are a few numbers from the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacies (IACP) regarding the compounding industry:

  • The compounding industry now makes up an estimated 1 to 3 percent of the U.S. prescription market, which is $300 billion overall.
  • A national survey of independent pharmacists showed that 76 percent compound medications for patients.
  • Virtually 100 percent of hospitals compound medications.
  • Virtually all home health specialty pharmacies compound.
  • All nuclear pharmacies compound.

It is safe to assume that as long as there are patients who need specially-altered medications and doctors who rely on compounding to formulate a unique combination of medications for those patients, compounding will absolutely be necessary, as will the need for certified compounding pharmacy technician.

Written By

Martin Zandi

A committed leader in the career education industry, Martin enjoys working with the community and colleagues in further improvement and expansion of education programs to improve outcomes.

Related Articles

CCI Training Center is proud to have completed 40 years in service.